Nathan Littauer Reveals Major Art Installation

Nathan Littauer Reveals Major Art Installation

A Mosaic Waterfall was unveiled on Aug. 29 at Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home’s Reflection Garden. From left: Sue McNeil, Director of Volunteer Services, and artists: Tammy Merendo, Linda Biggers, and Susan Ruscitto.

Gloversville, NY – Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home revealed their waterfall mosaic art in the Reflection Garden Thursday, August 29. The mural is a staggering 12 feet high and has a width of almost 9 feet.

“I wanted to thank everyone for making this possible,” says Laurence Kelly, President and CEO of Littauer. “We are grateful for: Glen Henry with Greenscapes Landscaping, Tim Insogna with Full Masonry Services, the Engineering Department, Environmental Services, as well as Nutritional Services. We should all be very proud of Joseph Rossi, who made the donation to fund the mural, Norma Cozzolino, President of the Auxiliary, Sue McNeil, Director of Volunteer Services, the Auxiliary members, and all volunteers. We would also like to especially thank the artists: Tammy Merendo, Linda Biggers, and Susan Ruscitto. We have many members and staff who have worked tirelessly to make this possible. They are very dedicated to what they do and this mural is a reflection of that.”

Sue McNeil had given a heart-warming speech at the event: “For our hospital, it’s more than just healing physically. We also heal mentally and spiritually. This artwork represents our spirituality and humanity because a lot of love went into this mural and its making.” She states, “We also understand the demands practitioners and staff go through on a daily basis. So, we also wanted to create a space worthy of them. I think we succeeded.”

To make the creation and installation more manageable, the mural was divided into six sections. The mural is comprised of pieces of stained glass, agate, and clay. The making of the mural had taken place inside Tammy Merendo, R.N.’s art studio in Amsterdam. Hundreds of hours were invested in the mural’s creation.

Artist Tammy Merendo speaks during the unveiling of a Mosaic Waterfall Aug. 29 at Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home’s Reflection Garden.

“Every time you look at the mural, you see something different,” says Tammy. “Everything you see in the mural has a purpose and a story to tell. Some of the Tiffany glass, which was lovingly found and scrubbed clean, was from the razed Second Presbyterian Church in Amsterdam. The flowers throughout the piece were from made from a barrette that belonged to Sammy, Sue McNeil’s granddaughter, who had unfortunately passed. The barrette was made into a mold to make flowers for the mural. Homemade stamps from the late Laurie Priest, who had passed away, were used to create some of the leaves in the mosaic. Both were used to represent loved ones who are no longer with us. The memories of those passed will continue to live-on through this installation.”

“The transformation of the Reflection Garden alone is something to consider as well. It’s a beautiful space for patients, visitors, and staff to visit and enjoy,” says Mr. Kelly. “It is not just for employees of Nathan Littauer Hospital. It is a space that is dedicated to everyone and is welcomed to be used by all.”

The waterfall mosaic mural is located in the Reflection Garden. The Garden is on the first floor between the hospital and the Primary Care Center. Patients who are staying at the hospital can ask staff to bring them to see the mural. The public is encouraged to come and visit from the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Any staff member or the information desk can provide directions to the Reflection Garden.



About Nathan Littauer

Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home is a full-service, 74 bed acute care hospital with an 84 bed skilled nursing home. Since 1894, Nathan Littauer has provided safe, high-quality health and wellness services with a focus on securing appropriate new technologies for people residing in Upstate New York. Over the years, the hospital has expanded its services in order to offer health care that is comprehensive, accessible, and relevant to the needs of the communities they serve. More information can be found by visiting

Salon Strong 2.0 with Nathan Littauer & New York Oncology Hematology a great success

Hair dressers and barbers pose for photo during the Salon Strong event at Lanzi’s on the Lake Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

Here’s a news story from our media partner The Leader Herald

Apr 25, 2018/Briana O’Hara/Reporter


MAYFIELD — The special bond between a hairstylist and their clients who are diagnosed with cancer, along with the importance of a hairstylist’s education of how to care for their client’s hair, was the theme of the Salon Strong 2.0 event Monday.

New York Oncology Hematology and Nathan Littauer Hospital teamed up for Salon Strong 2.0 to teach hairstylists and barbers how to treat cancer patients’ hair when going through treatment and after treatment.

Kelly Quist-Demars who is a five-year ovarian cancer survivor said Salon Strong is a nice learning event for hairstylists and it’s a “thank you” event to thank hairstylists for the work they’ve done for cancer patients who lost their hair due to treatment.

“I think it means a lot more women will have the support they need during this,” Quist-Demars said. “I think it will help the hairstylists understand what role they play and what they really mean to people.”

When Quist-Demars was diagnosed with cancer she went to her hairstylist who happened to also be a longtime friend since kindergarten to get her hair cut shorter and eventually shaved.

“It’s emotional, you don’t really know what to expect,” Quist-Demars said. “Most women have never had a shaved head before; they don’t know what their head looks like underneath all their hair and you kind of wonder what that’s going to mean to you.”

Kelly Quist-Demars, a cancer survivor tells her story during the Salon Strong event Monday at Lanzi’s on the Lake. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara

Quist-Demars said it’s a turning point for a patient to have their hair shaved because with hair they can hide that they’re sick, but once they shave their head, everyone will know and they themselves have to accept that they’re sick too.

Her hairstylist had asked why she wanted to get her haircut short and that’s when Quist-Demars first told her hair stylist she had cancer.

“And this is one thing that really sucks about the whole cancer thing is telling people because everyone is going about their normal day and you just drop this in their lap and your poor hairstylist, who wants to help you look pretty, now all of a sudden has to go in a different mode,” Quist-Demars said.

Dr. Arsyl De Jesus, radiation oncologist at New York Oncology Hematology’s Amsterdam office, educated the hairstylists and barbers on hair care for cancer patients receiving any type of cancer treatment that can lead to hair loss or thinning of the hair.

Losing hair, or experiencing changes because of treatment, can be one of the toughest parts of a cancer journey.

“Especially with hair loss, you’re suddenly now different from everyone else with hair and then they feel more isolated because they cannot look the same,” De- Jesus said. “As stylist, what I ask for you to do is offer to help them with something that you guys do best and that is to help them with their hair and skin.”

De Jesus said hair loss happens because cancer cells are rapidly dividing and the radiation therapy and chemotherapy attack and kill rapidly dividing cells. Areas of rapidly dividing cells include the hair and skin and those areas will have side effects because of the chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is hard to predict which patients will lose hair and what patients won’t, even if they get the same treatment. Some patients will just have hair thinning and some go completely bald.

Depending on the treatment, hair loss can start anywhere from one to three weeks after the treatment begins. It will start to get worse after one to two months of having treatment. De Jesus said patients will gradually notice when they lose their hair.

Dr. Arsyl De Jesus , MD, radation oncologist, gives a presentation to hair dressers and barbers on ways to care for a cancer patient’s hair during the Salon Strong event Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara

Quist-Demars said hair loss was the only side effect that she couldn’t have control over. She gradually worked toward shaving her hair starting from a medium length hair to something a little shorter to really short to shaved.

“I did everything I could at that point to keep my hair,” Quist said. “The good thing is I looked awesome with shaved hair and I think most women really look awesome with shaved heads.”

De Jesus said some treatments can effect hair everywhere. Hair loss can occur for facial hair, armpit hair, pubic hair, leg hair, eye brows and eyelash hair. De Jesus said radiation causes hair loss only in the areas being treated.

In most cases, hair will grow back once treatment is finished. De Jesus said it will take several weeks for the hair to actually start growing, and six to 12 months for scalp hair to grow back completely. She said when the hair first starts to grow back it might be a different texture or color.

“It takes a while for the pigment cells in our hair follicles to regenerate or re-grow back so that it comes out without pigment and later on develops its natural pigment,” De Jesus said.

When it comes to hairstylists caring for cancer patients’ hair, some ways to treat their hair is by going easy on the hair and to stay away from products that contain strong fragrances. Other suggestions include to not color, perm, or chemically straighten the hair when the client is getting any cancer treatment; don’t use rollers, curling irons or straightening irons; and use a soft bristles brushes and let hair air dry rather than a hair dryer because it could cause more damage.

She said if some of the hair clients want to have their hair cut or shaved in private, to possibly go to that client’s home.

De Jesus suggested for stylists to try shorter hairstyles first rather than starting drastic so they can start getting use to how they look. If a client wants to shave their head, then to use an electric shaver.

“There is a big difference to having control over the hair loss rather than the hair loss have control over you,” De Jesus said.

Tammy Merendo, RN, Ddrector of Healthlink Community Education at Nathan Littauer Hospital speaks during the Salon Strong event at Lanzi’s on the Lake Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)


Arsyl De Jesus, a radiation oncologist at New York Oncology Hematology’s Amsterdam office at Riverfront Center, gives a presentation during Salon Strong 2.0 held Monday, April 23, at Lanzi’s on the Lake in Mayfield.

A story shared by our media partner at McClary Media – Posted by The Recorder News | Apr 24, 2018

By DUSTEN RADER/For The Recorder

MAYFIELD — A diagnosis of cancer is a devastating moment for many, and the side effects of treatment can further exacerbate the already difficult situation.

That’s why New York Oncology Hematology and Nathan Littauer Hospital have joined forces for the second year to share critical information with hair stylists and barbers about how to support and empower cancer patients.

Dozens of area women, stylists and barbers gathered Monday at Lanzi’s on the Lake in Mayfield for Salon Strong 2.0. The event included several speakers, including hairstylists, a cancer survivor, and Dr. Arsyl De Jesus, a radiation oncologist at New York Oncology Hematology’s office at the Riverfront Center in Amsterdam.

The topic of De Jesus’ presentation was Ways to Better Serve Your Clients after a Cancer Diagnosis. The goal, she said, was to provide attendees with skills and insight to be proactive with clients.

Cancer survivor Kelly Quist, of Amsterdam, speaks during Salon Strong 2.0 held Monday, April 23, at Lanzi’s on the Lake in Mayfield.

De Jesus covered several aspects of the subject, including what to expect, what to say, 10 ways to talk to someone with cancer, how to respect the uniqueness of cancer, skin care, hair care, and how to be a part of someone’s cancer team.

“The purpose of this event is two-fold: Empower hairdressers to feel comfortable with clientele, and let hairdressers know what services are available,” De Jesus said.


A patient of De Jesus’, Amy Karas, of Gloversville, said she got involved in the event to encourage beauticians to cater to cancer patients and the unique needs that they have.

Karas said her friendship with her hairstylist Dottie Detterieder, of Beauty and Beyond in Gloversville, was a major support during recovery.

“They have a big part to play and I don’t know if they realize it or know what to do — it’s a wonderful program and an awesome thing for the community,” she said.

Karas noted she felt encouraged to take her hair off instead of letting the cancer get to it.

“When you take it off, you’ve taken control over it — it doesn’t control you,” she said, adding that even though her hair has since grown back, she keeps it short and still uses the dozen or more wigs she acquired during treatment.

“I had fun w

Jennifer Barnett, who makes pieces for Pinup Jordan’s Mermaid Lounge in Scotia, had several colorful wigs on display during Salon Strong
2.0 held Monday, April 23, at Lanzi’s on the Lake in Mayfield

ith it because I was bound and determined that it was not going to get me — I was going to get it,” Karas said.


Another survivor, Kelly Quist, of Amsterdam, said her relationship with her hairstylist Amanda Landrio, of Bella Vita in Amsterdam, taught her that when hair begins to come back it’s a time of “reinvention and rebirth.”

“I don’t think I was fully prepared for what it would be like to lose my hair and the journey back from that,” Quist said. “I fully embraced it

and shaved it off. I definitely would have taken advantage of more resources had I known about them. That’s why this program is important, because we have to let all the stylists know the role they play in the lives of cancer survivors and patients. There is a really important bond there, and I think the more information and resources they have the more they can share.”

In addition to De Jesus and Quist, other speakers at the event included: Tammy Merendo, RN, director of Healthlink Community Education at Nathan Littauer Hospital; Jessica Bump, hair stylist, CW Hair Salon, Johnstown; and Cheryl McGrattan, vice president, marketing/public relations/community relations at Nathan Littauer Hospital.

Representatives from the American Cancer Society were present with wigs and beauty products.

Jennifer Barnett, who makes pieces for Pinup Jordan’s Mermaid Lounge in Scotia, had several colorful wigs on display during the event.

Although only in its second year, Salon Strong has spread beyond hairstylists to barbers to be more inclusive of men. Barbers Michael Medina and Jamie ‘Pito’ Ramos, of the Fulton County Barber Shop in Gloversville and The Other Shop in Canajoharie, were excited to receive Salon Strong decals after participating the event. The barbers will be able to put the sticker in their window to let customers know that they have taken steps to be sensitive to the needs of cancer patients.

In addition to the Salon Strong event, a workshop is being planned for June. For more information, call 518-736-1120.

American Cancer Society Program Manager Wendy Stickley-Ocker poses with wigs and beauty products to demonstrate to attendees of
Salon Strong 2.0 held Monday, April 23, at Lanzi’s on the Lake in Mayfield.



2017 Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson and Robert A. Ferguson Fund for Education recipients

Littauer employees are recipients of the Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson and Robert A. Ferguson Fund for Education

Littauer President and CEO Laurence E. Kelly, Scholar Kayla Bellinger, Benefactor Dr. Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson, Scholar Tammy Merendo, and Littauer Foundation Executive Director Geoffrey Peck (Missing in photo: Scholar Krista Sheils)

Littauer President and CEO Laurence E. Kelly, Scholar Kayla Bellinger, Benefactor Dr. Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson, Scholar Tammy Merendo, and Littauer Foundation Executive Director Geoffrey Peck
(Missing in photo: Scholar Krista Sheils)

GLOVERSVILLE, NEW YORK (October 24, 2017) – Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home recently revealed the recipients of scholarships from the Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson and Robert A. Ferguson Fund for Education. Kayla Bellinger, RN, BSN, Tammy Merendo, RN, and Krista Sheils RN, BSN received awards during a presentation at Littauer.

“The Nathan Littauer Foundation is honored to present these prestigious awards to Littauer employees wishing to continue their healthcare education. This has become an annual tradition made possible by the Ferguson’s generosity” said Geoffrey Peck Vice President / Executive Director Nathan Littauer Foundation. “They have been great benefactors, and we are thankful that they have chosen to support the education of Littauer staff.”

Kayla Bellinger works at Littauer’s Johnstown Surgical Center and is pursuing a career as a Family Nurse Practioner. “I am grateful for this award,” said Bellinger. “I can now pursue my dreams and soon give back to my community.”

Tammy Merendo, Director of Community Education for Littauer’s HealthLink, is currently finishing a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Upon completion, she plans to pursue her Master’s degree. Merendo expressed gratitude noting; “I am so grateful for this opportunity to grow in my profession while remaining at Littauer.”

Krista Sheils, a Littauer maternity department nurse, is currently pursuing her Master’s in Nursing and her licensure as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Priscilla and Robert Ferguson have created a legacy of support for Nathan Littauer Hospital. Scholarships have been awarded annually since 2014, to enhance the careers of Littauer employees.

Priscilla and Robert had expressed that helping Littauer and its employees is an excellent way to serve the community. Just as Littauer employees are the heart and soul of the hospital, so too is the hospital as it sustains Gloversville as a vital and desirable place to live.

2016 ARHN Rural Health Community Wellness Champion Margaret “Maggie” Luck of NLH

2016 ARHN Rural Health Community Wellness Champion Margaret "Maggie" Luck! Maggie, at center. Littauer VP Communications, Cheryl McGrattan, left, Lottauer CEO and President, Laurence Kelly, AHI Executive Director Community Assessment & prevention, Nancy Gildersleve, and Littauer Director of Community Education, Tammy Merendo

2016 ARHN Rural Health Community Wellness Champion Margaret “Maggie” Luck! Maggie, at center. Littauer VP Communications, Cheryl McGrattan, left, Littauer CEO and President, Laurence Kelly, AHI Executive Director Community Assessment & Prevention, Nancy Gildersleeve, and Littauer Director of Community Education, Tammy Merendo

It’s National Rural Health Day and Littauer’s own Maggie Luck is recognized as a 2016 ARHN Rural Health Community Wellness Champion.

This is what the Adirondack Health Institute has to say:


AHI celebrates NATIONAL rural health day, announces 2016 rural health champions

[Glens Falls, NY] – In recognition of National Rural Health Day, November 17, AHI – Adirondack Health Institute announces five 2016 Rural Health Champions. The annual Rural Health Champion recognition is a collaborative effort of the North Country’s seven Rural Health Networks, including the Adirondack Rural Health Network (ARHN), a program of AHI, supported with funds from the NYS Department of Health Charles D. Cook Office of Rural Health.

2016 Rural Health Champions:

  • Rural Health EMS Champion: Vicky Campbell, Salem Rescue Squad Captain (Washington County), nominated by Kathy Jo McIntyre, fellow member of the Southern Washington/Northeastern Rensselaer County Mobile Health Steering Committee. “Vicky’s dedication to her community and the surrounding communities to provide care, safety and programs in a rural setting is commendable,” wrote McIntyre.
  • Rural Health Public Health Champion: Jessica Darney Buehler, Senior Health Educator, Essex County Public Health (Essex County), nominated by colleague, Linda Beers, and Josy Delaney, The University of Vermont Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center. “Jessica personifies ‘leadership’ and ‘collaboration’ and is dedicated to approaches that positively influence health behaviors and outcomes,” wrote Beers and Delaney.
  • Rural Health Community Wellness Champion: Margaret “Maggie” Luck, Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home Lifeline Services (Fulton County), nominated by colleagues Cheryl McGrattan and Tammy Merendo. “The most amazing thing about Maggie is how kind and willing she is to help anyone. She sets an excellent example in her work ethic and loyalty to the community,” wrote McGrattan and Merendo.
  • Rural Health Leadership Champion: Stephens Mundy, President & CEO, The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (Clinton County), nominated by colleague Karen Ashline, Adirondacks ACO. “Through partnerships, Stephens has been instrumental in creating real, practical and meaningful health care programs for those who have traditionally been underserved, demonstrating that patient-centered care can be both high-quality and cost-efficient. He has made far-reaching contributions to rural health care in the Adirondack region,” wrote Ashline.
  • Rural Health Behavioral Health Champion: Robert Ross, CEO, St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers (Essex County), nominated by colleague Tina Buckley. “He (Robert) is a forward thinker who is constantly advocating for rural health care needs and looking to improve access to care for all those who live and work in our rural communities,” wrote Buckley.

“From accessibility issues and health care provider shortages, to aging populations and a higher rate of uninsured and underinsured citizens, rural communities are facing more challenges than ever,” stated Courtney Shaler Smith, ARHN Manager. “Today we have an opportunity to both raise public awareness of rural health care and celebrate the unsung heroes in our region who are making a lasting contribution to the rural health care system.” According to Shaler Smith, nominees can be providers or non-providers who deliver or promote outstanding care and make significant personal and professional contributions to their community.

“This region is extremely fortunate to have so many talented individuals dedicated to creating a more efficient and effective rural health care system that is easily accessible, affordable, and provides a better overall patient experience,” said Margaret Vosburgh, CEO, AHI. “Each of our five honorees has had a profoundly positive impact on improving the lives of people in their respective communities and we’re so pleased to recognize their contributions.”

Created by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), National Rural Health Day showcases the work being done to address the unique health care needs of rural communities. For more information, please visit

The Adirondack Rural Health Network (ARHN) is a multi-stakeholder, regional coalition that informs on planning assessment, provides education and training to further the NYS DOH Prevention Agenda, and offers other resources that support the development of the regional health care system. The ARHN includes members from New York’s Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Warren, and Washington counties.  For more information, please visit

AHI – Adirondack Health Institute is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization licensed under the New York State Public Health Law as an Article 28 Central Services Facility. Since 1987, AHI has supported hospitals, physician practices, behavioral health providers, community-based organizations and others in the region in sharing our vision and mission of transforming health care and improving population health. A joint venture of Adirondack Health, Glens Falls Hospital, Hudson Headwaters Health Network, St. Lawrence Health System, and the University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, AHI’s mission is to create transformative initiatives to improve access to health care services allowing the residents   of the Adirondack region to realize their full potential and live a healthy life. For more information, please visit